February 2009
Vol 6 No 2

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Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.6 No.2 February 2009

Cover Story by Alfie Kohn
Why Self-Discipline Is Overrated: The (Troubling) Theory and Practice of Control from Within
To inquire into what underlies the idea of self-discipline is to uncover serious misconceptions about motivation and personality, controversial assumptions about human nature, and disturbing implications regarding how things are arranged in a classroom or a society.

Harry & Rosemary Wong: Effective Teaching
To Be an Effective Teacher
Simply Copy and Paste

»Do You Have a Student Teacher?Hal Portner
»Test-taking Skills Made EasySue Gruber
»Teaching Children Refusal SkillsLeah Davies
»How to Be ConsistentMarvin Marshall
»The Busy Educator's Monthly FiveMarjan Glavac
»Dear Barbara - Advice for SubsBarbara Pressman
»What Side of the Box are YOU On?Kioni Carter
»Global Travel GuruJosette Bonafino

»Teacher Study Groups: Taking the “Risk” out of “At-Risk”Bill Page
»Can Anyone Learn to Draw?Tim Newlin
»The Heart of Mathematical ThinkingLaura Candler
»Finding Free Art Materials in Your CommunityMarilyn J. Brackney
»The Downside of Good Test ScoresAlan Haskvitz
»February 2009 Writing PromptsJames Wayne
»In The Middle School (poem)James Wayne
»Using Photographs To Inspire Writing IVHank Kellner
»Teacher Performance AssessmentPanamalai R. Guruprasad
»How To Help Victims Of Bullying: Advice For Parents & EducatorsKathy Noll
»Unwilling Student Meets Unwavering Teacher Lauren Romano
»Notes from The JungleJohn Price
»Lead the Class - Teachers as Leaders John Sweeting
»Opposing Views of a Post-Racial SocietyRoland Laird
»Who Really Needs Four Years of Math and Science? Steve A. Davidson

»Apple Seeds: Inspiring QuotesBarb Stutesman
»Today Is... Daily CommemorationRon Victoria
»The Lighter Side of Teaching
»Teacher Blogs Showcase
»Carol Goodrow’s “Healthy-Ever-After” Children’s Books
»Printable Worksheets & Teaching Aids
»Memo to the New Secretary of Education and
John Stossel: American students are NOT stupid
»Lessons, Resources and Theme Activities: February 2009
»All of the Presidents in Under 2 Minutes!, Needle Sized Art, I Am a Teacher!, How It’s Made: Copy paper, and If My Nose Was Runnin’ Money
»Live on Teachers.Net: February 2009
»T-Netters Share Favorite Recipes
»Technology in the Art Classroom
»Newsdesk: Events & Opportunities for Teachers


The Teachers.Net Gazette is a collaborative project
published by the Teachers.Net community
Editor in Chief: Kathleen Alape Carpenter
Layout Editor: Mary Miehl

Cover Story by Alfie Kohn

Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong

Contributors this month: Alfie Kohn, Sue Gruber, Kioni Carter, Marvin Marshall, , Marjan Glavac, , Hal Portner, Leah Davies, Barbara Pressman, Tim Newlin, Bill Page, James Wayne, Hank Kellner, Josette Bonafino, Marilyn J. Brackney, Barb Stutesman, Ron Victoria, Panamalai R. Guruprasad, Alan Haskvitz, Kathy Noll, Lauren Romano, John Price, John Sweeting, Laura Candler, Roland Laird, Steve A. Davidson, and YENDOR.

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Lauren Romano

Archive | Biography | Resources | Discussion

Unwilling Student Meets Unwavering Teacher
I realized that if one teacher took the time to tell me that I had a future, maybe it was true.
by Lauren Romano
New contributor to the Gazette
February 1, 2009

In my early years of high school, I was miserable. I was not a student teachers looked forward to having. Pent-up emotions due to misfortunes that I faced early in my life caught up with me and I became bitter and unhappy. I knew I did not want to be in school, but I did not want to drop out either. Upon walking into Mrs. C's class, I decided I did not want to make any effort and would just do what I could to pass.

Mrs. C. was the type of teacher who was inclined to tell you just what she thought, whether you wanted to hear it or not. It was a clash of the unwilling student and the unwavering teacher. I was not pleased to have a teacher that thought she knew more about me then I knew about myself.

Mrs. C. must have seen something in me that at the time, I did not see in myself. I carried her words with me even when I was no longer in her class. Words that were spoken by Mrs. C were not empty, they were life lessons that at the time I appreciated, but not to the extent that I do now. Her oft-repeated phrases included:

"If you have a love for writing, hold onto it."

"Do what makes you happy and forget what anyone else says."

"You're only hurting yourself if you turn in an assignment that was completed half-heartedly."

Mrs C.’s advice stayed with me over time. My favorite was, "You have so much potential and eventually you're going to realize just how much." That statement about potential, the kind that seems to be a cliché spoken among many teachers, coming from Mrs. C., stuck with me.

Mrs. C was not an ordinary teacher and she made me want to learn again. I started making an effort and realized that if one teacher took the time to tell me that I had a future, maybe it was true. She listened when I spoke, explained why an essay that I spent hours on did not make the grade, and was relentless in forcing me to do well. While I hated her giving me a bad grade and had no problems voicing my resentment, I secretly knew that I deserved the poor grade because she was always fair.

On days when teachers are feeling less than important, I hope they realize that at least one life can change for the better because of a few simple phrases.

Making an effort to succeed in school became important again and it felt like my future was a reason for me to try.

Years after graduation from high school, I decided to pursue writing as a career. Mrs. C's words stay with me and inspire me today. When I want to give up, her words remind me that even during such a negative time in my life, someone took the time to try to bring out the best in me. Teachers don’t often hear "Thank you" and rarely realize the impact that they have on the fragile minds around them. On days when teachers are feeling less than important, I hope they realize that at least one life can change for the better because of a few simple phrases. There is no greater and more powerful job than that of a teacher.

» More Gazette articles...

About Lauren Romano...

Lauren Romano left the hectic 9-5 world for the even more frenzied and exciting world of freelance writing. Her wonderful aunt, who is a teacher of first grade, has instilled in her a life long respect for teachers. She credits her loved ones and previous teachers for pushing her to follow her dreams. Lauren continues to pursue her passion of writing full time in New Jersey.

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